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  • Writer's pictureConfessions of A Listener


Last week I came forward with 3 Personal Truths About Being An Artist and to follow that I want to discuss the dreaded “blank page” or “artist block”. I believe this a fear all creatives (who are making a living from their passion) have at the back of their mind. A fear that creates anxiety when unearthing a focus for their creative practice. But I see this as an opportunity to take a negative connotation, flip it on its head, and create a positive outlook. Reflection and contemplation are a necessity when working in the creative field. Not only can you improve your communication with your audience, but also strengthen your genuine interest in what you are creating. It is a period of looking inwards, not an impasse.

My focus this week has been just that: looking inwards and reflecting on how I make sense of the world through creativity. Two concepts stood out: silence and stillness. Adjusting to living in Leeds proved harder than anticipated and finding stillness within the high energy of city life has helped create focus as well as feeling grounded. Continuing my yoga practice, being mindful and listening awareness are all components in helping this transition. But it doesn’t end there. I believe these practices can be applied to all aspects of my life. And so, I came to the realisation that my art is incorporated into most aspects of who I am.

For a while I tried to separate the two, to look for an external cause or reason as a focus for my work. I’m not dismissing this aspect entirely and, in the future, something may arise, but at this moment in time my art is tightly intertwined with my personal development. It is a process of sorting, filtering, unpicking and organising, my internal and external perception of the present moment.

Silence In The Age of Noise (2017) by Erling Kagge

This is what my theme will be for this project. To look at external and internal noise or unwanted sounds, and its counterpart: silence with stillness. What the audiovisual material will be is an unknown but I have a feeling it will sway towards a specific place.

Whilst carrying out this internal exploration, I also did some practical research to enable better discussion on how and why I choose to present my work as “audiovisual”. Below is a description of this genre:

Audiovisual (AV) works range across a variety of media (TV, cinema, live performance etc.) to include all possibilities that present a stimulus to both auditory and visual sensorial systems. Referring to a piece as AV implies an intermedia connection, one whose very nature relies in the combination of the two words put together. It is a description for generic group practices, rather than an artistic practice and is continuously developing production skills. Some characteristics within this field include, visual music, expanded cinema, live cinema, Vjing and live audiovisual performance. These practices are also tied to shared experience that develops in time and space.

Taken from The Audiovisual Breakthrough. Audio Visual - On Visual Music and Related Media, 2015.

There are two areas which resonate with me the most: visual music and live audiovisual performance.

Visual music is mostly seen as abstract and non-definitive visuals combined with sound that are presented as either film or real-time performance involving projection.

Live audiovisual performance is a term applied to contemporary artistic expression consisting of live manipulated sound and image, created through time-based, media-based and performative material. Currently I am drawn to the latter and have more curiosity to see where it could take my creative practice. The appeal to investigate live audiovisual performance, lies within the types it can take. Object-orientated works can be used in installations and exhibitions, where as event-orientated pieces can be presented as performances. I feel this umbrella branch within AV gives me some flexibility on the final presentation of a composition.

The above spiel feels a little essay-like but I hope it’s given you some context of the medium I work with. Next week I’ll expand on aesthetic decisions and how I chose my material.

Finally, here’s a peak at what I’ve been experimenting with this week in Resolume and Ableton. Apologies for no sound but I’m hoping to fix this soon.


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